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Wednesday, 3 February 2021

François Courboin’s etching with aquatint, “Honoré de Balzac”, 1891, after Eugène Giraud

François Courboin (aka François Jules Marie Courboin) (1865–1926)

“Honoré de Balzac”, 1891, after a portrait of the famous author, Honoré de Balzac (aka Honoré Balssa) (1799–1850), shown on his deathbed by Eugène Giraud (aka Pierre François Eugène Giraud) (1806–1881), first published in 1891 in “Le Livre Moderne” and later in 1892 in Katharine Prescott Wormeley’s “A Memoir of Honoré de Balzac”, published in Boston by Roberts Bros (see https://archive.org/stream/cu31924027500606#page/n7/mode/2up). This impression is from the earlier 1891 edition with the lettered text below the image borderline.

Wikipedia advises that this image of Balzac was “drawn an hour after his death” (see caption for this print: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honor%C3%A9_de_Balzac).

Etching and aquatint, printed black ink on cream wove paper trimmed within the platemark and backed with a support sheet.

Size: (sheet) 17.7 x 12.4 cm.

Lettered on plate in four lines below the oval image borderline: “HONORÉ DE BALZAC/ D’après un portrait fait par Eugène Giraud/ ausssitôt après sa mort/ Gravure à l’aqua-teinte par François Courboin”.

IFF 36 (Jean Adhémar, Jacques Lethève 1954, “Inventaire du Fonds Francais Après 1800”, Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, cat. no. 2).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:

“Bust-length portrait of Balzac on his deathbed, after Giraud; his right cheek resting on a pillow; within oval; more advanced state, with aquatint and signed by the artist, of a plate executed for 'Le Livre Moderne', 1891” (https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1908-0508-131).

Note that the British Museum has an earlier state of this print prior to the addition of the aquatint; see https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1908-0508-130.

Condition: a strong. near faultless impression trimmed slightly within the platemark and laid upon an archival support sheet of millennium quality washi paper. The sheet is in a near pristine condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains, foxing or signs of handling.

I am selling this beautiful aquatint executed with exceptional sensitivity showing one of the world’s greatest writers, for the total cost of AU$200 (currently US$152.24/EUR126.38/GBP111.49 at the time of this listing) including Express Mail (EMS) postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.

If you are interested in purchasing this small and delicately glowing aquatint of rare technical virtuosity, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.












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